How to Backup and Erase Your Kindle Fire

Maybe you got a Kindle Fire and aren’t that crazy about it. You want to sell the thing, give it away or return it to Amazon or the store where you bought it. It could be you just want to start over and remove all the free Amazon App Store of the day apps, documents and junk and go back to factory default settings. I’ll show you how to back up your content and then erase your Kindle Fire and restore it to Factory Default Settings in just a few easy steps.

Why would anyone go to the trouble? You don’t want the next person to get ahold of the machine to have access to your Amazon account, which stores your credit card information making it possible for them to buy anything they want. You probably also have other accounts, like email, bank accounts you accessed via the browser or any online account used on the device.

Video Demo

Backing Up

The process isn’t hard, but it must begin with a backup. To get started, find a micro-USB cable. The Kindle Fire doesn’t come with one. Maybe your cell phone has one or you can get one cheap online or at a local office or electronics shop. Connect the device to your computer and find it in Explorer on Windows or Finder on a Mac. You’re looking at the built-in SD card and all of your documents, books and other personal files. \

To back up your Kindle Fire, copy the files you see in the Kindle Fire folder.

You can choose to copy all of the files, or if you know what you want to backup, juct copy those files to your computer.

Be sure to properly disconnect the Kindle Fire from the computer by first telling either Windows or OS X to disconnect it. To do that, right-click the icon in Explorer or Finder and eject it.

Erasing the Fire

Kindle Fire Reset - choose device

Turn on the Kindle Fire and choose the settings at the top right corner of the screen. It looks like a circle with points around it and sits next to the battery icon. Tap it and choose More.

Kindle Fire Settings - choose more

Swipe with your finger up to show the bottom items on the list and tap Device. At the bottom you will see Reset to Factory Defaults. Tap it and choose Erase Everything.

Kindle Fire Erase

It will de-register the device at Amazon and begin to erase all the contents on the Fire. After the Fire restarts you will see a message telling you its erasing itself. After a couple of minutes the Fire will finally start again. If you plan to sell it, give it away, or return it, then turn it off and you’re nearly finished. If you just wanted a fresh start again, you will now have to set it up again. Enter your Wi-Fi password, set the Time Zone, and enter the right Amazon account info.

If you do plan to get rid of it, you will want to log into your Amazon account and make sure the device is no longer listed. Follow the previous link and select Manage Your Devices to make sure it’s not listed.